Finding Your Perfect Sports Bra and a Giveaway

ashley-in-sports-bra

Happy Thursday guys! As some of you may have seen earlier this week on either my Instagram Stories or the Brooks Running Instagram, I had the opportunity to spend time shopping for sports bras with Brooks and Jack Rabbit. If you are a long-time reader, you may remember that I am small chested (36A).  For years, I didn’t think much about sports bras because I didn’t think that someone who was small chested needed support.  I did not enjoy wearing sports bras as I felt they made my small chest even smaller and flatter. Maybe that’s because for the first four years I worked out, from the age of 22-26, I wore a very basic sports bra that was $14.99 at Target.  It provided no support or padding, instead it was more like an ace bandage wrapped around my chest. No wonder I hated putting that thing on.
brooks

Luckily since my favorite brand, Brooks, makes wonderful sports bras, they offered to provide me with a bra fitting session in partnership with Jack Rabbit.  During my session with Leslie at Jack Rabbit, I learned so many tips that I asked my friends at Brooks if I could share the images and tips with you guys to ensure you pick the right sports bra for you, regardless your chest size.

moving-comfort-brooks

  • Women of all size can benefit from a quality, well-fitted sports bra – not just those with larger chests.
  • Women with small chests need to have a bra with support to avoid sagging and permanent damage to breast tissue later in life.
  • Get measured every year because even small changes can make big differences, especially for people with smaller chests.
  • The fit of the bottom band is the most important part of the bra as this is what provides most of the support. You want it to be tight enough to provide support but tight enough so that your girls won’t come out if you raise your arms.
  • Breast tissue moves in a figure eight pattern when you run, walk or jump. Wearing a sports bra with cups, known formally as an encapsulation bra, will support you better and help you avoid that unfortunate uniboob feeling.
  • If the bra is folding, wrinkling or has too much space in the cup that means you need to go down a cup size.
  • Your sports bra size may be different from the bra size you wear each day. Try on lots of different sizes and styles, often in one size smaller and larger than your daily bra, before choosing a sports bra.
  • A bra with adjustable straps can help ensure a perfect fit and that the bra can provide enough support regardless the exercise.
  • In the Fall of 2015, Brooks began re-branding their Moving Comfort division to Brooks. Therefore, if you have a favorite Moving Comfort bra that you’re looking for, it can be found on the Brooks site and may now have a Brooks logo on it!

brooks-sports-bra-with-adjustable-straps

During my session, I fell in love with three bras.

Fiona Sports Bra 

I have never worn a sports bra with a hook and eye closure but man did I fall in love with the level of flexibility and comfort this provided. In addition, this bra comes with molded cups so I felt supported and shapely versus flat as a pancake. The adjustable straps, which I am modeling in the above picture, also allow me to adjust the bra depending on the activity. For high intensity or running I would tighten it to limit the movement but for yoga or pilates, I can wear it a bit looser. If you are nursing, the adjustable straps can also make this a great bra option for easy access. The molded cups on this bra made me actually feel as if I had shape versus being flat as a pancake. I loved this bra so much that I bought two of them, one in black and one in blue!

brooks-fiona

Frontrunner Racer Bra

How fun and unique is the design of this bra with the plunging v-neck and seamless style? This lightweight, breathable bra is a great option as it provides support and contoured cups without sacrificing style. Even though I tried this bra on again at Jack Rabbit, I have owned this bra for three months and have worn it to many a workouts and run. It is comfortable and a great, chafe-free option!

brooks-front-runner-racer-bra

Uprise Crossback Sports Bra

This bra is the only one that I tried on which was designed specifically for A/B cups. Even though it has S/M/L sizing it still has contoured cups which provide support as well as a nice, curvy shape while the cross back allows for ventilation during your workout.  As you can see from the picture at the top of this post, I love this bra so much that I wore it throughout our Canada hiking trip, even stripping down to just the bra on an especially hot day.  The only thing that could make this bra even better would be adjustable straps.

brooks-uprise-bra

GIVEAWAY CLOSED – Winner @momsgottarun entry #47

 

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Mast Brothers Brooklyn Chocolate Tour

There are few things more fun then spending an evening learning and tasting chocolate with friends after a long day at work.

mast brothers maple

Almost a year ago, I discovered the brand while perusing the chocolate section at our local grocery store and since then have visited their Williamsburg location two times. Previously our small chocolate stash was primarily Swiss chocolate, heavily influenced from our time living there, but over the past few months more and more Mast Brothers chocolate has found its way into our house.  Therefore, when Gilt City invited Heather, Diana, Alanna, Christine and I for private tour at Mast Brothers Chocolate factory and show room in Brooklyn, I was elated!

Mast brothers bloggers

mast brothers behind the scenes

This behind-the-scenes tour which took place at their original, Williamsburg location provided us with a better understanding of not only how they make their chocolate but also how it is different than other chocolate brands.  During the tour we learned a great deal ranging from the details behind the process to the history of the brand.

mast brothers

  • The company was started by two brothers, Rick and Michael, one a chef and the other a business man.
  • They sold their first bars (17 to be exact) on their first day at Brooklyn based Artists & Flea
  • They now have three locations: Williamsburg, LA and London.
  • They pride themselves on including no more than 6 ingredients in any bar.
  • Cacoa nibs are made of half cocoa solids and half cocoa butter.
  • The nib portion boast many health benefits due to the fact that each serving contains flavanoids, antioxidants, 9 grams of fiber, magnesium, and potassium!
  • They have a base line of popular chocolate flavors but also introduce seasonal collections each year.
  • They do their best to source the ingredients for the chocolate from local or small farms and business partners such as Stumptown Coffee for the coffee that goes in their coffee bar.
  • Their recent collection is an herb collection, of which lavender is their most popular!
  • My personal favorite flavors are sea salt, goat milk, and lavendar in the perfectly portioned small 1.0 oz size bars.

If you want to enjoy your own tour of the factory, check out the great deal Gilt City is offering through tomorrow which includes a $20 credit to spend on chocolate! It saves you more than 50% and would make a great date night or weekend activity with friends or out-of-town guests!

Interested to try Gilt City? One lucky reader will win a $50 Gilt gift card! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Gilt City covered the cost of this tour but we were not compensated and all opinions, as always, are my own. 

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I Miss My Running Endurance and A Giveaway

ash run

Happy Monday!

If you follow me on Snapchat (@healthyhappier) you already know that this morning Bo and I laced up our shoes for our first morning run together in ages. It’s easy to forget how simple running is in comparison to other workouts. Just ten minutes after the alarm went off we were running through the neighborhood. Since we were only running for 30 minutes, we just had to change clothes, lace up our shoes, chug some water and push start on the stop watch.  The simplicity of this, in comparison to our morning workouts in the city, left us smiling and relaxed. We immediately decided that starting out the week with a morning run is the best way to kick off a healthy week and transition from the weekend to a busy work week. The F train has driven us crazy the past few weeks, running a reduced schedule during peak times, which has changed the morning commute for workouts from 20 minutes to almost 45 most mornings.

Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t breaking up with cross training or ClassPass anytime soon. But, due to a few upcoming races and healthy bodies, we are going to spend more time hitting the pavement. This morning’s run made us both realize just how much training we have ahead of us in order to be race ready.  The run wasn’t easy but we still loved the time together and the fact that we faced the harsh reality that we’ve both lost our endurance and Summer training will be tough.

6.6.16 run

Our route this morning was a flat and shady 3.5 mile route which took us through Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Carroll Gardens before ending in Gowanus.  Our average pace was around 9:45, which felt more like sub 8-minute miles.  Even though I ran two half marathons and a ten miler this Spring, it has been a while since I consistently trained for a race. Now that we’re both healthy – I’m excited to focus on running.  Our goal is to run three times per week – speed, long and tempo. This week is a base-building week which will include two four mile runs an done 6 mile run.  Due to weekends in Vermont and down in Avalon, New Jersey there aren’t many races during the Summer that work with our schedule but here is our tentative race schedule. We are using a few of the NYRR Open Run 5k as speed work and diagnostic runs. In addition to these, we will be doing long runs each weekend to build our endurance.

In addition to running, we will each continue using ClassPass (<–link to save you $) for cross training, taking 10 classes per month using the new NYC Core Plan.

To celebrate my return to running, I have teamed up with Timex to give one lucky reader a Timex Ironman Colors watch of their choice!  I’ve been using the Timex Sleek 150 and Sleek 50 models this Spring and love the fun colors, large buttons and easy to use features.

timex pic

To enter, leave a comment with your favorite running song or which color Timex Watch you’d choose.  I will pick one winner (US only) at 11:59 Tuesday, June 7th. GIVEAWAY CLOSED – WINNER CHOSEN 

 

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